Behavioral disorders: what if we tried to understand our children?
Behavioral Disorders: Better Understanding Our Children
For the lucky ones, he is terrible at home and outside, he is an angel. For the less fortunate among you, it is terrible everywhere and all the time. Some children can put us in acute states of anger and stress. The problem is that very often in this situation, the state of the adult is only the consequence of a behavior of the child and inevitably when one does not know any more how to make with this small being, the child does not not calm down and it’s the beginning of an infernal cycle. Here are 3 tips to calm things down and improve the quality of family communication.
He systematically refuses to listen to you, he never wants to work, he provokes you and seeks confrontation. She tests the limits and is ready to put herself in all her states to get what she wants… There are a thousand and one situations where children will put adults in difficulty. We will then try to understand them in order to be able to help them and help ourselves at the same time.
1) Try to calm things down!
No matter the situation, time or place you are, you remain the adult and he remains the child. Generally, these crisis situations are “discussions” where the tone rises crescendo and it ends in shouting, punching and slamming doors.
To avoid this, keep in mind that the most important thing is to maintain your authority as a parent and that discussing is negotiating. But we do not discuss the orders of the parents. The child may be angry, find it unfair and resent the whole world, you are the parents and you know better than him what is good or not for him.
Take the example of a child who has difficulty managing frustration. He doesn’t understand why he should stop playing the console when dinner isn’t ready yet and dad is also on his phone. In this case, if you ask him to stop a pleasure activity to come and wait at the table without doing anything, obviously he will not like it. The idea is to anticipate as best you can and to invite the child to join you in the kitchen to help you or to ask him to set the table and it does not matter if he is doing badly, the whole thing is that he ends up obeying.
The advice: Try right away to put things into perspective and remember that deep down, if your child has made you angry, it does not matter. This shows that he is cunning and smart but he won’t get the better of you. It is better to avoid too many discussions and instead try to give precise orders, one by one, so that the child can apply them.
If he is totally in awe, then change the environment and interrupt the situation, but don’t give him what he wants. Simply accept not having what you want until the situation calms down, while being careful that the child understands intuitively that he did not have what he wanted either.
2) Assess the risks
Inevitably during a conflict situation, we increase the risks of no longer controlling the sequence of events. The child, depending on his age and the importance he gives to the subject of argument, could put himself in danger or do something much more serious which would have more serious consequences on his development or on the family. It would be terrible if the child ended up hurting himself, for example, by leaving his house in anger, or if anything happened to him when the subject of the argument was, for example, a homework done in a hurry. .
So as an adult, it’s a matter of seeing from the start if the situation is worth going all the way to punishment. To do this, you must keep in mind that the child who exhibits atypical behavior is himself in pain and does not know how to act in the face of this situation, which poses a number of problems for him.
Advice: There is no harm in interrupting an argument or an annoying situation with a break where the child goes to his room. Ideally, we explain things after the storm and not during because during the child is not available to listen, understand and learn what you have to explain to him. It is also better to focus on situations where you will be alone with your child if you want to reverse inappropriate behavior. Explanations in front of all family members will be experienced as a trial and the child will not understand the benevolence behind your message.
3) Distinguish real behavior problems from difficult behaviors
The child may have a real behavioral problem such as oppositional defiant disorder. Here, the child will inevitably have a certain tendency to disobedience. This results in a constant refusal to comply with instructions, to respect the rules or to submit to a higher authority. It is normal for a child to go through a phase of opposition, this is part of assertiveness and happens in school-aged children. This phase is nicknamed the “terrible two” or the “no” phase.
Children test boundaries, lie to their parents, and play with their emotions to see the effects. This becomes problematic when the child persists in this attitude.
There would be three types of opposition:
– A passive opposition, where the child seems to respect the instructions given but does not carry them out
– An active opposition, where the child refuses categorically and without showing the slightest fear of listening to his parents
- A passive aggressive opposition, where the child obeys his parents but can be violent towards others by making it clear that this costs him enormously in terms of his personal ego.
Advice: This is a disorder and it would be best to consult a psychiatrist or a child psychiatrist so that the professional can give you some questionnaires and collect all the anamnesis information necessary for the diagnosis. . The doctor will then usually refer to a neuropsychologist who can carry out a complete evaluation of cognitive abilities.
The different daily behaviors that can alert:
The child has trouble managing his emotions and is often angry
He almost systematically challenges what adults say
Does not respect adult authority
He provokes others
He is always the victim of injustice and feels misunderstood
He is often susceptible
Do not hesitate to admit being totally overwhelmed by the behavior of your child and not knowing what to do. In the most suitable solutions, social skills groups and a psycho-education type follow-up are the best solution. This will allow the child to be able to work on managing his emotions, see in others in small numbers what he is also accused of, understand his mode of operation and accept that he must make efforts in certain areas without to erase oneself completely by being in devaluation.
Mr. Gabriel Rafi
- Graduated in neuropsychology and cognitive psychology from University Paris Descartes, France.